"I'm not ready," I said wide-eyed to the woman who was about to draw blood. I'd managed to make it to age 10 before ever having to give up any of the precious red stuff flowing through my veins.
I told her I needed to lie down first.
And then that I thought I'd do better sitting up.
Or....maybe we should try the whole lying-down again.
"She's ready," my stepmom finally insisted. Crying, flailing, and a lot of drama ensued. And at the end of it all, the vilest of nurses held a vial of my blood.
I don't know that I would've ever been "ready" for that.
Twenty years later, I was "Not ready" again. It was January 1st, and my maternity leave was ending. The following day, January 2nd, the day I'd known was coming, I would return to work after being home for my son's first three months. It felt really, really not right to not be home with him. I remember that night so vividly: I rocked him, nursed him, placed him in the bassinet and then climbed into bed and sobbed like I hadn't before, nor since, as an adult. And the next morning, God was good; He strengthened me and there were mercies for the work I was called to finish. But four months later when I received a job contract for the following year, I didn't sign it. I came home, and have been home ever since.
But I'm here again in this heart-rending place called "Not ready." And this time it's August 15th that draws near--the day I've known for a while now would be another "Not ready" day. That's the day when I will begin really, really sharing my son with a world that I'm praying will receive him with grace. It's the day when he will enter an environment that might not welcome the truth we've sown into him. It's the day when I pray he finds favor with those outside our family and group of friends. It's the day I hope he will encounter people who see great worth in the way God has uniquely made him. It's the day when I'll hope we prepared him sufficiently with truth, manners, compassion, more truth, and even a bit of knowledge.
I really don't feel ready. But I don't know that I could find a date on any calendar that I finally would feel ready. I want more time, more chances, more opportunities, more laughs, more talks--more battles, even! I came home to be home with him. My heart hurts knowing that a chapter of that is coming to a close.
I'm not ready. But ready or not, here it comes.
God, You are my Abba Father, my Daddy. Not only do you fully understand what my heart feels now, but the great measure of love I feel for that boy is so small compared to the love You have for Him, and that gives me great peace. I do not want to worry--I am commanded to trust You and so I am needing You to strengthen me to trust You. He will be out from under our protection more than he ever has been, but I KNOW he will never be out from under Yours. You have given him a desire for people to come to know Jesus as their Savior, so although that truth may be unwelcome, I know You have placed light in dark places. Let his light shine so that people may see his good works and praise his Father in Heaven. Please use that boy for Your glory! Please let all the seeds of truth take root in him! Please let his life bear lots of fruit--the kind that lasts! Please protect his body, protect his heart, and protect him from any who would even consider doing him harm. Cover his steps with peace, and lend weight to what He does in Your name! Thank You for creating him and for entrusting him to us. The only fitting thing is for us to offer him back up to You.